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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The past does not matter in 49ers vs. Eagles NFC Championship Game

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 28, 2023 at 11:30 AM

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The San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles are facing off in a highly-anticipated NFC Championship Game on Sunday, which marks a matchup between the two most complete rosters in the NFL.

However, the paths that each team took to reach their final destination were completely different, as the 49ers struggled to begin the season, starting 3-4 before winning their past 12 games, while the Eagles began the season 13-1 before dropping two of their last three games.

But, there is one clear similarity when discussing the two teams ahead of the NFC Championship Game: the past does NOT matter.

The 49ers

When the 49ers entered Week 8, sitting at a 3-4 record with losses to the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, and the Kansas City Chiefs, they were a completely different team than the one that stands in front of us today.

The 49ers had two different quarterbacks: Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, while also sporting cornerback Emmanuel Moseley during the stretch, and were without Christian McCaffrey, who is their offensive MVP for the 2022 season, despite playing just half the season with the team.

So, it's unnecessary and irrelevant to address that version of the 49ers when discussing their flaws, because that's not the team that San Francisco will show up with on Sunday.

Even looking at Week 13, when the 49ers had their second quarterback change of the season following Jimmy Garoppolo's injury, they were a different team, as Brock Purdy had never seen the ups and downs that come with an NFL career.

Injuries change the outlook of a team week-to-week, which is why it's vital not to stress on prior games when evaluating a team, although obtaining and utilizing the data from those games can be valuable, when addressed with the proper context.

The Eagles

Even with the Eagles' hot start, it's unfair to look back on their early-season games and compare that to the team they've currently had, due to the additions they've made or the injuries they've overcome.

When pointing to their early-season Commanders' loss, that isn't indicative of their performance in the current-day, because the Eagles have learned to make adjustments when defenses combat their schemes, which has been seen when they played their division rivals a second time this season with a healthy roster.

Moreover, the past doesn't matter because the Eagles and 49ers haven't seen a roster like each other's yet, which will ultimately be their biggest tests of the season.

Additionally, the game plan to combat each other's attacks differs from previous games due to the differing strengths of each team.

With the way that the 49ers and Eagles match up roster-wise, this could be the strongest two teams to face off at this stage in recent history, making it a must-see on Sunday.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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